The Blue Raiders failed to capitalize on the momentum from last week’s win, falling 36-17 to in-state rival University Memphis on Saturday night.
Blue Raiders quarterback Austin Grammer struggled against the Tigers defense, notching one interception and a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown.
Memphis was dominant on offense as well, amassing 271 rushing yards and 482 yards total.
Memphis started the game with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Paxton Lynch to Alan Cross. The Tigers then took a 9-point lead following a safety on the Blue Raiders offense. Middle Tennessee answered two minutes into the first, punching in a one-yard touchdown run with Memphis native Shane Tucker.
In the second quarter, Memphis kicked a field goal to go up 12-7. Tigers sophomore running back Doroland Dorceus fired off a 32-yard rushing touchdown to raise the lead to 19-7 for Memphis.
Middle Tennessee and Memphis exchanged field goals in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Lynch threw a 50-yard touchdown pass. Memphis’ defense followed by forcing a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown by senior defensive back Bobby Mcain. With a little over two minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the game already out of hand, Tucker burst into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run.
The Blue Raiders are set to play at Old Dominion on Sept. 26, where they’ll look to finish their road stretch with a win.
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